Earlier this year, Shamima Begum had her British citizenship revoked after her intention to return to the country was revealed. The reason? Begum left the U.K., where she was born, in 2015 to become an ISIS bride. Just weeks after her citizenship was revoked, her baby boy Jarrah died of pneumonia while they were staying in a Syrian refugee camp.
Now, despite the backlash over Begum’s son’s death, the British government has revoked the citizenship of two more women who left the country to become ISIS brides. According to The Sun, sisters Reema and Zara Iqbal, 30- and 28-years-old respectively, are also currently in a Syrian refugee camp.
Between them, they have five children all under the age of 8, two of whom were born in Britain. Reema was pregnant with her second child when she left the U.K. The women’s parents were born in Pakistan. Both Reema and Zara left London in 2013 to marry into the terrorist cell.
The British Interior Ministry said they would not comment on individual cases of revoked citizenship, but stated that “Any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly.”
It was Home Secretary Sajid Javid who came under fire for revoking Begum’s citizenship and refusing to allow her to return to the U.K. with her sick child.
Two more ISIS brides have been stripped of their British citizenship https://t.co/z7fXySnF50— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) March 10, 2019
As The Sun reports, stripping a person of their citizenship is only legal in the U.K. if they have citizenship in a second country, but it is unknown whether or not Begum or either of the Iqbal sisters has citizenship elsewhere. Begum’s ancestry is Bangladeshi, so it is thought she might have claimed citizenship since leaving the U.K. at the age of 15.
Since leaving the U.K., Begum married a Dutch IS fighter, but she fled to the Syrian refugee camp when fighting broke out between the terrorist group and the U.S. military.
Javid cited security concerns with allowing her to return as the reason for revoking her citizenship. The teenager was desperate to bring her child back to the U.K. after her first two children had also died.
“This is really not a place to raise children, this camp,” Begum said when her Jarrah fell ill.
Caliph Mirza Masroor Ahmad called on “any Muslim country” to give Begum citizenship amid the public outcry over her British citizenship being revoked.
“Since her parents were from Bangladesh, the first duty is of Bangladesh to take her as a national.”
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis came out in defense of Javid.
“There is no question that the duty of a home secretary in this country is to keep British people safe.”
Those same safety concerns are the reason that the Iqbal sisters’ citizenship has also been revoked.